I think everyone who has consistently maintained a blog for any length of time has faced the issue of burnout. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep moving forward, and these situations lead many bloggers to quit. With the tips listed below you will be able to prevent a major burnout in your blogging efforts.
1. Choose a topic that you’re passionate about.
Producing a consistent effort is much easier when you are passionate about the subject of your blog. Blogging requires a lot of writing, research and involvement in the blogging community. These things can become difficult if the topic doesn’t really inspire you.
2. Set a realistic posting schedule.
Some blogs post once every few days and others post numerous times each day. Be realistic about the time you have available for blogging and try to be consistent with your posting schedule. If time is very limited, don’t attempt to publish 3 posts in a day. The frequency that you post is not as important as some consistency. If you start off posting several times each day and then a few days go by with nothing new, readers will wonder what happened. Instead, don’t try to overdo things or you’ll be more prone to burnout.
3. Plan ahead.
Planning is important for your posts as well as for your promotional efforts. If you are posting on a somewhat consistent schedule you should always have an idea of how much content you need to be able to create. By planning ahead you’ll avoid the situations where you sit down at your computer with no subject in mind, knowing that you need to come up with something immediately. The quality of your posts will improve with proper planning, and just as important, you’ll avoid this added pressure that can lead to burnout.
The time you spend on promotional efforts should also be planned (at least to some extent). Most bloggers use promotional methods like social media and commenting on other blogs. These methods can easily take up all of your available time if you’re not careful. Plan ahead to make sure you use a good mix of different promotional ideas to get the best results.
4. Celebrate you accomplishments.
If you are consistently putting in an effort to grow your blog, you’re bound to have several major or minor accomplishments that are worthy of your attention. Take time to appreciate the successes that you have had and let them help stave off burnout by focusing on the positive. Of course you can’t spend all of your time enjoying your achievements, but it’s important to do once in a while.
5. Have a long-term focus.
If you expect to attract thousands of readers and make a lot of money right away, you’re almost guaranteed to be disappointed. Building a blog takes a lot of work and a focus on the long-term value of your work. With the right perspective you’ll be less likely to face immediate burnout when things don’t happen overnight.
6. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
Many new bloggers get excited and try to start several new projects all at the same time. Fight the temptation and focus your time and effort on one blog. Once you’re happy with the level of success and you’re confident that you can maintain the blog with a smaller amount of time, then look into other projects. By starting too many projects at once you’ll decrease your chances of success with any of them.
7. Limit the time you spend on statistics.
With programs like Google Analytics, FeedBurner and Technorati free and easily available, it’s not very difficult to spend more time than necessary on stats. While stats are definitely important, they shouldn’t consume your focus or they will distract you from the real reasons you are blogging. Focus more on the content of your blog than the stats. With great content the stats will come.
8. Accept guest posts if you need more content than you can produce.
Publishing guest posts by other bloggers is a great way to keep new content flowing to your readers without putting too much pressure on yourself. If you’re facing burnout because of the time it takes to write new articles, consider soliciting some guest posts.
9. Build a network.
Not only will a strong network help you to grow your blog, but it may help to keep you from feeling burnt out if you have other friends in the same situation. If nothing else, it can prevent you from feeling alone when you’re facing the challenges of blogging.
10. Use designated times for email.
One of the factors that can lead to burnout is feeling overwhelmed and short on time. You can practice better time management by setting aside certain blocks of time to read and reply to email. An open mailbox can often be a distraction and you’ll actually spend less time if you do it all at once rather than answering each email as it comes in.
11. Find things that motivate you.
What is it that makes you want to keep going? Making money, increasing traffic, becoming well-known in your industry? Whatever motivates you should be used to your advantage. Those times when you are facing burnout, think about your motivational factors and allow them to help you to progress.
12. Take a break.
Time off is necessary for everyone. Taking a week away doesn’t mean that your blog will die. You can use time stamped posts or have a friend guest blog for you in your absence. Time off can be refreshing and inspiring.
What other methods do you use to avoid burnout?